With moving to Australia, I’ve become a bit of an old hand at goodbyes. From saying goodbye when we first left England to waving off newly made friends returning home or continuing their travels to watching visitors from home having to go back again, goodbyes have become a big part of my life.
I’ve learnt that, bluntly, there’s no such thing as a nice goodbye. They’re always slightly traumatic in their own way.
When friends leave because of reasons like visas running out or homesickness, there’s always a worry of will I make anymore friends? Can you have ‘real’ friendships in a place where most of the people you meet are only there for a short while?
When visitors leave, the worry is when will I next see them? Can I handle being so far away from the people I love the most for such a long time?
Each goodbye is a time for evaluation. You can’t help but use the loss as a way to look at yourself and your life and ask tough questions – am I happy here? Am I making the right choices? Is this where I want to be?
On top of the self reflection, there is also sadness. All the goodbyes I have had to say have been sad. Most I have shed a tear over.
I used to look at my sadness as a negative, but now when I think of goodbyes I have found that there is a positive to the situation.
The thing with a sad goodbye is that it means you were lucky enough to have something great in your life in the first place.
When you outgrow something or it no longer serves you, the goodbye is easy. You can let it go without much of a fight.
But when a goodbye moves you to tears, when it hurts a little inside, that’s when you know you’re lucky. You’re lucky because, for however long that goodness was in your life, you experienced something wonderful.
So many people walk this earth without meaningful connections. So many people never experience true happiness. A hard goodbye means that you are not one of those people, and to me that is something to be grateful for.
With today bringing with it yet another sad goodbye, I remind myself of this idea. I remind myself how lucky we are to not only be living in such an amazing country, but to have the love and support of the most brilliant people back home too.